Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 29th, 2014
Pages: 460
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?)

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into Big Little Lies, but I was surprised by just how much I ended up liking this story and characters. This murder mystery surrounding a group of mom’s and their kindergarten kids had more depth and humor than I thought a murder mystery could. Moriarty spun such a well-crated story with brilliantly written characters. This has become of those books that I want to recommend but also one that I have continued to think about despite finishing it a few days ago.

I can’t quit raving about how well the characters were in this book. It may be because I had pretty low expectations for the characters but they were so well done. Each character was completely unique and realistic. While some aspects of a character were done a bit over-the-top, such as Madeline’s complete dedication and involvement into anything that stirs up a bit of drama down to her saying how much she loves conflict and seeks it out, it was done in a comical way that didn’t actually feel over-the-top.  Each character had their own story arc, that never dominated the overall story. 

Since this book is so character-driven, it did lack a bit of plot. While it wasn’t really slow, there were some points where things felt a little mundane. Like a small argument among the mothers, or some mediocre drama in one of the families. There were some bigger plot points that came along and at least one twist I didn't see coming. The “big” twist at the end seemed really obvious to me after reading a third or so of the book. That didn’t make it any less exciting, though. I was completely into this story and loving every minute of it. 

I had picked up this book because I wanted to see the show. I knew which actors were portraying which characters and that made the story much more real to me in a way. I could picture each actor portraying the character, and in a good way. They chose the actors for the characters brilliantly. I’ve watched the first episode and really liked it. It seems true to the book thus far, but I’m only one episode in. I’m excited to continue with the show and see how it compares to the book. 

Moriarty does a fantastic job of bringing topics to think about to light with a side of humor and drama. This would be such a perfect book club book as there are many elements to discuss. (I desperately want to talk about them but I don’t want to spoil anyone :)). If you like murder mysteries with great character development, if you’re a sucker for some mom drama (especially among moms whose children attend private school), or if you're looking for an entertaining read, this would be a good one to check out!  


  1. What I love about Moriarty's books, is the way she weaves the stories together until they converge. Most of her books have this WTH! twist too that are so delicious.
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. My mother read this one, and she enjoyed it a lot. She's watching the series as it releases now, and her interest has made me curious to give it a go. I am glad you could enjoy this one more than you expected to!


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